Brandon Mebane and the Los Angeles Chargers are in Foxboro, Massachusetts, to take on the New England Patriots this afternoon, and while it’s all football for a lot of these guys, Mebane will be playing with a very heavy heart. The defensive lineman is mourning the loss of his 7-week-old daughter, Makenna.
“Words are hard to come by with the passing of Brandon Mebane’s infant daughter, Makenna. We are heartbroken. Please join us in keeping Brandon, and his family, in your thoughts and prayers,” the Chargers said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know:
Makenna Was Born With Trisomy 13 & a Stomach Infection Complicated Things
Makenna Mebane died on January 3, after being born with a rare chromosome disorder called Trisomy 13. The disorder is diagnosed when a person has three copies of chromosome 13 in cells instead of two.
“Trisomy 13 causes severe intellectual disability and many physical abnormalities, such as congenital heart defects; brain or spinal cord abnormalities; very small or poorly developed eyes (microphthalmia); extra fingers or toes; cleft lip with or without cleft palate; and weak muscle tone (hypotonia),” according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.
Mebane revealed that doctors at a neonatal intensive care unit in Nebraska tried to save his daughter’s life, but they couldn’t do surgery because she developed a stomach infection.
“The thing we were dealing with recently with my daughter was she had developed a stomach infection. This sometimes happens when babies come out premature. My daughter, she wasn’t supposed to be born until December 16. She came November 12 of this year. She was fine for a couple of weeks, for two weeks, and then she got sick with (her) little stomach intestines. They call it NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis). Basically, the baby swells up and all kinds of things happen. Her blood was low. They had to get her blood counts and all kinds of medicine to help her recover,” Mebane previously said.
Although things started to look better for Makenna, she started to have major setbacks and ultimately, doctors couldn’t get her to pull through.
“She just kept bleeding from her stomach, and when they tried to feed her, it wasn’t good for her liver. She wasn’t doing much better, and they had to make a decision,” Mebane explained.
Mebane Is Dedicated to Playing Football But Says His Daughter Isn’t Far From His Mind
Mebane and his wife, Amena, are parents to two children. When Mebane isn’t on the field, he enjoys spending downtime at home with his family.
In a recent interview, Mebane spoke about how hard the past couple of weeks have been for him and his family, but he is doing his best to focus on football.
“You know, it’s been a tough year, period, but she would want me to be here doing my job. No matter where I am, I still think about her. I’m just happy I’m still able to play this game,” Mebane told reporters, according to the Los Angeles Times.
This is Mebane’s third season with the Chargers.